Coming into tonight’s game, bearded beauty Karl Alzner had scored 15 career goals in eight NHL career seasons. Saturday against the Bruins, Alzner tallied number 16 and his fourth of the season. It was amazing.
Basically, Alzner forgot he was a passive, stay-at-home defenseman and started aggressively forechecking behind the Bruins net. What resulted was a pass and score that more resembled a goal connection between Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.
Photo credit: Rob Carr
Last year, the Capitals’ top defense pair was John Carlson and Brooks Orpik. This year, those two have missed a combined 43 games. Tonight, it was Carlson’s turn again.
“He probably saw the doctors tonight and we’ll probably have an update (Saturday) because I don’t really know yet,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s not 100 percent or he would have played tonight. It is a lingering of the old injury so we just want to have the opportunity to let’s get it settled down or fixed. Whatever we need to do let’s just do it so that it’s not lingering on.”
Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner has now played in 423 consecutive games, passing Bob Carpenter for the franchise’s all-time record. Hockey is arguably the most brutal of the top four American sports. Playing just a single 82-season without missing a game is an accomplishment. Alzner’s managed to string four of those together, plus a full 48-game season after the 2012 lockout, and he’s well on his way to doing it again this season again (knock on wood).
Alzner is a reliable and smart player. He uses good skating skills and stick positioning to be successful. And, for five years and counting, he’s been willing to sacrifice his body when the moment calls for it.
The Capitals honored Alzner with a video on the jumbotron during the first period.
Photos: Amanda Bowen
Karl Alzner put the Capitals up 2-0 over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. His effort (and self-described “lucky” goal) earned him third star of that game. When he came out for his curtain call, Alzner pointed to a small fan from across the ice and skated over to him. Alzner threw the puck over the glass and watched the child catch it before giving a thumbs up and fist bump through the glass.
The little boy’s reaction is precious.
The Caps-Rangers game earlier today was an instant classic. There was an amazing last second game-tying goal by Nicklas Backstrom, a brilliant OTGWG by Alex Ovechkin, and a clutch stop by Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt on a shot near the goal line. But if there was one play that stuck out to me more than the rest, it was Karl Alzner‘s unselfish shot block.
Let me set the scene. In the second period with the Caps up 2-0, Alzner broke up a J.T. Miller scoring chance with a diving pokecheck. As the play continued, Miller received the puck back from a teammate and looked to score again. Alzner, still laying on the ice from his previous heads up play, did something remarkable.
Caps forward Andre Burakovsky showed some love to the National Women’s Hockey League Sunday night. On his time off, the Burracuda went to HarborCenter to watch the Buffalo Beauts take on the New York Riveters. The Capitals arrived in Buffalo Sunday afternoon, a day early ahead of their game against the Sabres Monday night.
Midway through the third period of Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, Dmitry Orlov turned the puck over at center ice and started a wild chain of events. The Capitals, in the middle of a shift change, watched helplessly as Oilers’ stars Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall raced in alone on Braden Holtby.
But the Oilers didn’t score! Or even get a shot off. Hall fumbled Yakupov’s pass and as the Oilers regained possession of the puck, Karl Alzner— playing man-to-man defense against Teddy Purcell — blocked a shot from the point with his shin pads.
The puck squirted to center ice and sprung Alzner, he of 14 career NHL goals, on a semi-breakaway.
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